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Photographer to be set free

Japanese photojournalist Go Takayama (R) poses for a photograph with
newlyweds he photographed as part of a photo essay he was working on in
Siem Reap on November 19.
A Japanese photojournalist jailed on charges of producing pornography
is set to be released following intervention from Information Minister
Khieu Kanharith, Siem Reap provincial prosecutor Ty Soveinthal has
said.
Local officials have alleged that Go Takayama, 28, photographed
women at brothels in Siem Reap, though organisers of the recently
concluded Angkor Photo Festival have said the photos in question were
inoffensive portraits of a married couple.
Ty Soveinthal said Takayama and the couple arrested along with him
would likely be released today or tomorrow, following a hearing at the
provincial court scheduled for Tuesday.
“I have already completed my investigation of the Japanese
photographer, and I think his punishment should be very minor and he
should not be jailed in Cambodia,” Ty Soveinthal said, adding that
Takayama would likely be fined 1 million riels (US$245) and would
possibly receive a suspended sentence.
“The reason why we have considered releasing this Japanese man is
because we have found that his mistake is very minor, and he was
supported by Cambodia’s Ministry of Information, His Excellency Khieu
Kanharith.”
Khieu Kanharith said in an email that he had contacted Siem Reap
officials about the case and would be sending a formal letter to secure
Takayama’s release.
 
“I got messages from many friends, some are Cambodian journalists
trained in the USA, affirming his innocence. I also checked his blog
and understood the nature of his art,” Khieu Kanharith wrote. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JAMES O’TOOLE.
 
Phnom Penh Post
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Categories: Local News
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